What about fees and funding?
Tuition fee loans
When you start your studies you do not have to pay your tuition fees up front. You will be able to take out a loan through Student Finance England to pay them instead.
In order to qualify for student finance, including tuition fee loans, you have to satisfy certain residence requirements. For most people this means you must be living in England on the first day of your course, have been living in the UK for the three years immediately beforehand and not have any restrictions on your stay in the UK. There are also other ways you can meet the requirements, for example, if you are a refugee living in the UK, and you can find further details on the direct.gov website.
In general, you’ll only be able to get the finance package for higher education students if you’re doing a first higher education qualification or ‘topping up’ a lower-level higher education qualification. Usually this means financial help for the length of your course - plus, if necessary, one extra year to cover any false starts or transfers.
The amount of tuition fee loan available is linked to the amount charged by Birmingham City University for your chosen course.
The loans are not means tested so if you are an eligible student you will be able to apply for the maximum amount, regardless of your household income.
Interest is charged from when the loan is taken out at the rate of inflation plus three per cent. Repayments of the loan will commence the April after graduation, and once you are earning in excess of £21,000 per annum.
If you take out a tuition fee loan, the money will be paid direct to the university on your behalf. If you do not take out a tuition fee loan you will need to make arrangements to pay the university yourself. You may be able to pay your fees in instalments by direct debit but you will need to arrange this when you enrol on your course.
Repayment of loans
As stated earlier you only have to start paying your tuition fee loan back after you have graduated or left your course, and you are earning more than £21,000. Repayments will be nine per cent of the amount earned above £21,000.
Repayments will usually begin the April after you graduate or leave your course.
Interest will be added at a rate equal to inflation plus three per cent from the time you take out your loan until the date when repayment is due.
From then on, the interest rate will vary according to your earnings.
If you are earning £21,000 or less, the interest rate will reduce to just the rate of inflation.
If you are earning more than £21,000 there will also be a real rate of interest added above the rate of inflation.
The maximum rate of interest will remain at the rate of inflation plus three per cent if you are earning £41,000 or above.
HM Revenue and Customs collect the repayments. Either your employer will take your payments direct from your salary or, if you are self-employed, HM Revenue and Customs will collect the repayments through the tax self-assessment system.
If you earn less than £21,000 per year or stop working at any point, you will not have to make any repayments during that period.
If any of your loan is left unpaid after 30 years, it is written off.